Sunday, 6 July 2014

Lets Have a Demonstration!

driver coaching Nottingham

Demonstrations are an important part of driver training.

In unit 6.3.2. of the National standard for driver and rider training we look how to explain and demonstrate skills and techniques. This unit will seem familiar to most driving instructors who do this sort of thing every day. Like most instructors I mainly give demonstrations when it comes to manoeuvres or junctions unless I think there's a need to demonstrate on another subject. I find pupils are reluctant to request a demonstration so I always tell them I'm happy to demonstrate anything they want if they think it will help.
   \Regarding the performance standards of this unit we must be able to select suitable locations for a demonstration. Pretty easy if it's a manoeuvre. The suitability of a location would seem to be obvious. If you want to demonstrate roundabouts then it will have to be where the roundabouts are. However the difficulty level of the location must be taken into account. What may be manageable for the instructor may be too demanding for the pupil.
   We must provide timely and appropriate explanations and demonstrations of the required skills. Most of the time this is simply talking yourself through the subject while you put it into practice in front of the pupil. Sometimes it pays to perform the skill a little slower than if it was a natural drive to allow for a clearer talk through. I like to do one with just me talking and then see if the learner has any questions. I'll then do a second demonstration based on what has been asked. That way it's not just me showing off that I can do it.
   We must make sure that the learner understands any theory that links to the demonstration. I find the best time to demo something is right after a briefing with a diagram. That way the info is still fresh in the pupil's mind. After the demo we need to make sure that learners have enough opportunity to practice. No point doing a demonstration at the end of the lesson. As the learner practices we need to give feedback. This is a more straightforward unit as the vast majority of driving instructors will be putting these things into practice anyway.
   Where possible we need to be able to encourage learners to practice in a structured way outside of lessons during private practice. To facilitate this I made videos which can be watched on You Tube. Each video contains an explanation and a demonstration for that particular topic. That way learners can remind themselves in between lessons. parents and other accompanying drivers can also check that they are teaching the right stuff. Next time we will be looking at the element on coaching. Should prove interesting.

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